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Lakers lottery FAQ: Everything Lakers fans need to know about the NBA Draft Lottery

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Let’s get through this, together.

NBA: NBA Draft Lottery Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft lottery is just about two weeks away. The fingernails of the collective fan base of the Los Angeles Lakers have have been gone for quite some time, so all kinds of new nervous ticks have been picked up. What better time, then, to answers all the questions anyone might have regarding the events scheduled for May 16?

There is no better time than the present, so let’s see if this is therapeutic.

First thing’s first: What kind of odds are we working with?

The Lakers have a 46.9 percent chance at remaining in the top-three. So basically, grab a coin, add just a little bit of weight to one side, flip it and you’ll know whether the Lakers will keep their pick.

Now, quickly, go report the findings. You’re a journalist.

What exactly is at stake for the Lakers?

By this point, unless you’ve been living under Dwayne Johnson, you should know about the top-three pick the Lakers will lose if they slide even a single spot. What many might not know is that the fate of the Lakers’ 2019 first-round pick is also at stake.

If the Lakers lose this year’s pick, their first in 2019 will go to Orlando, whereas if they get lucky in a couple weeks, that 2019 first-round pick is instead conveyed as two second rounders (this and next year’s).

This is all part of the Steve Nash and Dwight Howard trades of 2012. Hey look at the time! It’s five o’clock somewhere.

What goes on behind closed doors?

Well, under David Stern, all kinds of fun stuf-... Oh crap I misunderstood the question.

As far as how the actual lottery works, here’s SB Nation’s Jason Patt to explain.

Because there are 14 non-playoff teams, 14 ping-pong balls numbered 1-14 are placed in a lottery machine. The balls are mixed for 20 seconds before the first ball is drawn. The remaining balls are then mixed for 10 seconds before the second ball is drawn. This process is repeated until four balls have been drawn to create a four-digit combination to determine the No. 1 pick.

There are 1,001 total combinations available, with one of those combinations thrown out and the other 1,000 combinations distributed among the teams. The worst team in the league gets 250 combinations, and the odds get worse for each subsequent team.

The team with the best record in the lottery only gets five combinations. If two teams finish the season with the same record, each tied team gets the average of the total number of combinations for the draft positions they hold. If the resulting average isn't an integer, a coin flip is done to see who gets the extra combination.

As you can see, the NBA takes quite a few steps to ensure no funny business takes place. Still, conspiracy theories are fun.

With Byron Scott, Mitch Kupchak and even John Black gone, who will be representing the Lakers?

The choice was pretty clear here. Kobe Bryant has made it crystal clear he’s moved on from basketball for the time being and Magic Johnson has happily taken up the responsibilities once again as the face of the organization. He’ll be sitting front and center while Rob Pelinka witnesses the actual ping pong ball process explained above.

The Lakers could have gone with Luke Walton or any number of people, but I like the Magic pick, for very obvious reasons tied to his nickname.

Just for fun, though, let’s look back at the best (read: only good) moment of Byron’s tenure.

What kind of history are we working with or against at the three spot?

Honestly, as can be expected with lotteries, the results are kind of all over the place. Shouts to our own Gary Kester for grabbing all the data, though.

In his findings, teams who have landed at the three spot have remained in the top-three (again, this is what the Lakers need to happen) exactly 50 percent of the time. Do with that what you will.

What are some ideas for what fans can do to improve the Lakers’ luck?

Aside from the usual wearing-lucky-jersey, rabbits feet, etc., here are some creative ways to show your karmic supports:

  • Photoshop the cover of Byron’s new book. (See below)
  • Laugh at a highlight reel of Jahlil Okafor’s defense.
  • Root like hell for the Washington Wizards, who are playing the Boston Celtics and are responsible for Jordan Clarkson’s presence on the roster.
  • Photoshop Paul George into a Lakers jersey. Can’t get enough of those.
  • Buy a beer for anyone you see wearing Lakers gear. You know they need it.

Who might the Lakers be looking at, should they keep the pick?

For quite some time, the Lakers have been reportedly ‘enamored’ with Lonzo Ball. The story has made plenty of sense. He’s flashy, seems to fit the modern NBA, he played for local UCLA, oh and he’s a very good player.

Tuesday morning, though, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding reported the Lakers have four names at the top of their draft tables: Ball, Markelle Fultz (Washington), Josh Jackson (Kansas) and De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky).

These names are in no particular order as of yet and are sure to change as the pre-draft festivities take place.

And lastly, when and where can we find the lottery?

The lottery will air Tuesday, May 16 at 7 PM PT from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Have any more questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments below or send them to me on Twitter, @AnthonyIrwinLA.